Press Release

First meeting of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee

The first meeting of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee took place today, Wednesday 8th December.

Professor Hilary Humphreys, Chair of the Committee, said that the primary objective of clinical practice guidelines is to achieve better health outcomes by improving the practice of healthcare professionals and providing consumers with better information. Welcoming the commencement of the group’s work Professor Humphreys said “this is further evidence of the efforts to achieve the culture change that the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance spoke of and to ensure that patient safety is our number one priority.”

The Minister for Health and Children announced the establishment of a National Clinical Effectiveness Committee at the launch of the Patient Safety First Initiative on 23rd September, last. The Committee which is representative of all the key stakeholders, includes the HSE, HIQA, postgraduate training bodies, health service professionals, professional regulatory bodies, service users, the Mental Health Commission, the Clinical Indemnity Scheme, the Independent Hospital Sector, private medical insurers, and the Department of Health and Children. The committee has been established to prioritise and quality assure guidelines and audit which will address safety, quality, efficiency, skill mix and economy of health service delivery throughout both public and private sectors.

The Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance identified the development of structures to support Clinical Effectiveness as a critical requirement for a well governed healthcare system. Clinical Effectiveness involves a number of processes, but primary among these are:

  • the development and use of clinical guidelines to support evidence based practice and
  • the use of clinical audit to improve patient care and outcomes.


Clinical Guidelines – are systematically developed statements to support professionals and patients when making decisions about the most appropriate care in particular circumstances.

Clinical Audit – is the clinically-led process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review against explicit criteria.